India bans wheat exports
New Delhi had previously claimed it could “feed the world” in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine
India has prohibited all exports of wheat with immediate effect, the country’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced on Friday.
Ministers stated that the dramatic move was needed because “a sudden spike in the global prices of wheat arising out of many factors, as a result of which the food security of India, neighboring and other vulnerable countries is at risk.”
Conflict between Russia and Ukraine is threatening the global food supply. They are the main suppliers of the international market for about 30% of the global wheat exports.
Global food prices have increased by three-quarters, and the UN has warned that around 44 million people may be at risk of starvation.
There were hopes that India, which is the world’s second-largest wheat producer, could help to compensate for global shortages as the country projected a record harvest of 111.3 million tons (mt) in 2021-22, with between 10mt and 15mt earmarked for export. It announced in April that its granaries were fully stocked and that the country was prepared to export. “feed the world.”
A sudden heatwave caused by high temperatures in spring put these plans on hold. The high temperatures led to premature ripening of grains and shriveling across many areas of the country. The heatwave reportedly caused Indian farmers to harvest 15% to 20% less rice than they did last year.
According to media reports, India’s government now estimates that wheat production will be 95mt. It was the lowest figure since 2015-16.
India will allow shipment of wheat to fulfill letters of credit issued prior May 13th, despite the ban.
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Additional exports require permission from India, except for those countries which require wheat. “to meet their food security needs,”It was added.